How Should Humans & Animals Relate?

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Question: How should humans and animals relate?

Objection 1: Animals have rationality. Their actions reflect their beliefs (MacIntyre 55). If animals believe humans are friends, their actions towards humans will be friendly. Humans should recognize their common rationality with animals and establish an interdependent, mutually beneficial, give and take, human-animal relationship. Humans and animals can provide eachother "protection and sustenance" (MacIntyre 1). Human and animal interdependence will lead to increased human and animal flourishing. A human can depend on a dog to protect the house from burglars at night, a rooster to wake them up in the morning, or a horse for transportation. In return, these animals are dependent on humans for food and shelter.

Objection 2: Humans should stop discriminating against animals. The "number of one's legs…or whether one lives in the trees, the sea, or the suburbs" has no relevance to the importance of their interests (Regan 2). Animal slavery should join human slavery in the "graveyards of the past" (Singer 4). Animals should have equal protection under the law, and human culture and human moral reasoning needs to be changed in order to protect animals. In the new moral reasoning, there is no justification for killing animals. Farmers, fishers, and hunters should be viewed as murderers. Humans and animals share more time together, develop a shared language, and have an equal representation in the global economy. In this process, they become the same. Humans become more animal-like, and animals become more human-like. Like the racial, sexist, or homophobic slurs, "nigger, cunt, or fag," animal names like "dog, rooster, or horse" become species slurs, and are socially unacceptable. Every animal should be given a personal name, like humans.

Objection 3: When we eat animals, they are "sacrificing themselves so that humans might live" (Hauerwas 72). They are analogous to Jesus in this way. Animals share with humans...
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